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Sarasota County School Board Chair calls for Special Meeting of the Board to Review the Sproat Investigation Report

Superintendent recommends dismissal of Jeff Maultsby as chief operating officer

SARASOTA COUNTY, October 28, 2019 – On October 16, 2019, the Sarasota County School Board took receipt of an investigation report compiled by Vicki Sproat with Sproat Workplace Investigations regarding complaints made by school district employee, Cheraina Bonner, against Jeff Maultsby, Todd Bowden and Al Harayda. This report was embargoed for ten days pursuant to Section 1012.31(3)(a)1. The report and outcomes from the report are now available for public disclosure.

Earlier today, Superintendent Todd Bowden notified Mr. Maultsby of the school district’s intent to terminate his contract. Mr. Maultsby has 15 days to respond and appeal this decision. On November 5, the Superintendent will formally notify the Board of his intent to terminate and ask that Mr. Maultsby be suspended without pay. If there is not an appeal, the Board will act on this recommendation during the November 19 meeting.

In addition, School Board Chairwoman, Jane Goodwin, has called for a special meeting of the Board set for Tuesday, November 5, 2019 starting at noon, to review the contents of the report and discuss its findings with the Superintendent. In anticipation of the meeting on November 5, Superintendent Todd Bowden has issued the following statement regarding the report:

“After reviewing the entirety of the text messages exchanged between Mr. Maultsby and Ms. Bonner, and the transcripts and exhibits from each interview conducted by Ms. Sproat, it is clear Mr. Maultsby behaved inappropriately, and his actions are unbefitting of a school district employee. As such, I have recommended his termination to the School Board for review and approval on November 19. Regarding allegations made against me and Mr. Harayda, it is not appropriate for me to comment on the contents of the report prior to the special meeting of the Board on November 5. I will share in advance; however, that I disagree with the report findings and several conclusions made by Ms. Sproat. I look forward to delivering a full response to School Board members next week. I regret that Ms. Bonner has to wait even longer for resolution to the complaints, and I appreciate her patience and fortitude throughout this process, and I hope our employees can continue to do what we do best – educate and inspire our children.”

In addition to the special meeting of the School Board at noon on November 5, there is a regularly scheduled School Board meeting starting at 6:30 p.m. at The Landings. Both meetings are open to the public.

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